I've always wondered about hypnotism, but had never seen it in action before. Last week, I learned unequivocally that it's a bunch of hooey.
While out of town on business, some co-workers and I attended a function at which a professional hypnotist had been hired to perform. Ever wonder how a hypnotist gets people to act like they're hypnotized? Easy--by only inviting people on stage who think they're susceptible to it. "Close your eyes," the guy commanded us, "and clasp your hands together. Tighter...tighter...You cannot pry them apart." Those who believed they could not unclasp their hands were told to stand up and their hands would come free. When a dozen people stood up, the hypnotist said, "Everyone standing, come up on stage!" They thought they'd already been hypnotized from long distance; they were ready to swallow anything.
The unequivocal evidence? A woman was asked to draw something from her home with sentimental value. She drew something, tore off the sheet of paper, and folded it. The hypnotist told her to concentrate on this item . . . concentrate . . . concentrate . . . while he read her mind. Suddenly, he started drawing.
He instructed her to unfold her sketch and show the audience. "It's my dog," she said--except that it wasn't. She was a lousy artist. "It's a cat!" we all yelled up at her. It had the pointy ears and whiskers and everything. The hypnotist then showed us his own sketch -- a perfectly drawn cat. Of course, had he really read her mind, he would have seen a dog. By drawing a cat, he proved that he was just re-tracing her sketch. BUSTED!